Barum Czech Rally - Tests

On the preparation of the rally, almost all of the teams tested their machines for the best setup and handling. Below are the videos of the respective tests of their machines and crews.

The tests are now becoming more common and essential these days even with the privateers nowadays as the competition gets more serious and demanding.

Test of Peugeot Delimax Total team before Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2012, Pavel Valoušek - Lukáš Kostka / Peugeot 207 S2000 Evolution.

Odložilík Roman, Koči Martin, Orsák Jaroslav, Březík Martin

Polish-italian test before 2012 Barum Rally Zlin. Luca Rossetti, a former Peugeot factory driver, shared with us his valuable advice.

Rajdem Barum. Gościem zespołu Synthos Cersanit Rally Team był Włoch Luca Rossetti.

Test of Andreas Mikkelsen, Sepp Wiegand nad Tomáš Kostka before Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2012

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Mystery Driver tests Ford Fiesta RS WRC @ French race track!

The rumour is that a mystery tarmac expert was testing Ford Fiesta RS WRC, in the Circuit des Ecuyers test track near the French town of Château-Thierry. He was accompanied along with both the top Ford drivers, Solberg & Latvala, while the team's Technical Director, Christian Loriaux was happy with the feedback from the new driver.

Loriaux was however stirred up when Kubica's name was speculated, and reported that all went well with the testing. It was obvious since that Latvala will be moving out of Ford at the end of the season to VW Motorsports. There was no official confirmation about Kubica by Ford WRC team.

Robert Kubica has been in the recovering corrective surgery recently after his accident in a Skoda S2000 car, nearly 18months ago in Italy early last year. The below video is however making round in the internet, which is more likely to be Ford's testing in Baumholder area, pre-Rally Germany. Whatever, it will be really nice if he is back at the sport's top most seat. This has come at a time when Kimi has expressed his love for the sport. Could this be him either? !!

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IRC [2012] Round 9 : Barum Czech Rally Zlin

In about 2 days from now, the ninth round of the IRC season 2012, the 42nd Barum Czech Rally kicks off at the city of Zlin. The entry list of total 123 cars is impressive and has about 29 S2000 cars, 33 PWRC/R4, and the rest in being the 2wd cars. As a special, Thierry Neuville will be driving in a Peugeot 207 S2000 car, Czech Rally Legend Emil Triner is returning after 6 year gap, Ekaterina Stratieva also makes a return to the IRC round this time.

Barum is a local tyre maker from Czech who is a longtime partner to the event. Barum Czech Rally Zlín includes about 260 km of special stages covered with various types of tarmac. Zlín is located in the valley, surrounded by wooden hills offering splended scenery and diverse landscape. Moravian regional town Zlín is about 300 km east from the capital Prague and about 200 km north from Austrian capital Vienna.

The documents of the rally for reference,

Action clip from last year..

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WRC - 2012 : Sebastien Loeb crowned at ADAC Rallye Deustchland [Germany]

Sebastien Loeb is the King!! He is the unstoppable.. especially on the hard and sealed surface, whatever the conditions. Period.

The 9th round of the WRC season 2012, Rallye Deutschland was dominated by Loeb since day 1, which he has kept it till the end to claim the top honors in style. The event first held in 1982 in the German Rally Calendar, was included into the WRC calendar since 2002 [except for 2009] and had been dominated for 8-long dominance by this french-man, until last year, which he lost it to his compatriot Sebastien Ogier after he lost time in an unexpected puncture of his left front wheel of his Citroen DS3 WRC. As for this year, as we all know that Ogier has moved to VW and not in the WRC car and  hence no virtual threat was spelled with just a brief Ott Tanak & JM Latvala managing to claim a few stage wins.

In the penultimate stage of the rally, Norwegian Mads Ostberg goes faster ahead of the lot, much ahead of his compatriot and Ford WRT driver Petter Solberg. It was understood that Loeb wouldn't do any silly thing to loose his super advantageous position with nearly a 2 minute with the nearest rival Latvala. But after the last split Mads lost his lead ended 2nd fastest, Dani Sordo finished 3rd, however Petter [being fastest] took his revenge with the German Rally after his crashing his car's right rear wheel against a rock yesterday at Panzerplatte 2. Rally Leaders, Latvala, Loeb & Mikko were 5th, 6th & 7th fastest through the rain-hit wet stage.

The last and the most celebrated Stage of the rally, Circus Maximus in the heart of the city Trier is the Power Stage of the rally. Last year, Loeb had snatched those vital max. 3 points as he had lost his first place to Ogier after a puncture.

But, this year it was Loeb again, taking those 25+3 points into his kitty account for the Championship chase! Mikko takes the third with 15 + 2 points from the second fastest in power-stage, and surprisingly it was Nasser Al-Attiyah Andreas Mikkelsen who takes the 1 point by being third fastest in Circus Maximus. Latvala might not have taken any of those extra points, but makes 18 points to his account by the second place on the podium.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC - ADAC Rallye : Saturday Wrap up!

After a leader-board changing on the first half of the day, the final stage of Saturday is through with Loeb at an untouchable position so far. And more unlikely too! Estonian Ott Tanak surprised everyone on SS10 & SS11 beating Loeb with considerable margin, however he reportedly stopped on SS12 after he ripped a wheel off his M-Sport Fiesta WRC. Van Merksteijn Jr too stops after crashing very close to where Tanak had. It was not a good stage for Spaniard Dani Sordo who was spotted peeking under the bonnet, and a electrical problem was suspected earlier, but it turned out that he had an impact and the front and sides of the car had tell tale damages & the car was loosing coolant from the damaged radiator.

The rally had suddenly had turned into a fight for survival or simply a strategy of attrition by Citroen's Ace. It looks very imminent that the Rally is already won, but still its not done until its done right!? Latvala was already showing the pace [really just 0.7s in 46.54km looks awesomely competitive] as he did in last year and in the opening rally of season 2012 until he crashed out. How ever the rally leader is far too tough to catch with 1m42.9s adrift from the next, and Mikko is happy with his pace today & is in 3rd overall, with over 2 mins gap of the no.1. Hope there will be potential competition else, the sport is getting boring already.

Latvala explains here what he really wanted to do & what really happened. So, it really not that easy to beat a king eh!?

We just have 3 more stages to go tomorrow with the 30.76kms of Drontal SS to be run twice before the regular SSS at Circus Maximus @ Trier.

Here is a quickee of the action that took place today..

With the top order collapsing, it was an easy moment for the down order to recover the positions, with Mads Ostberg with his Fiesta WRC and Chris Atkinson in his Mini WRC taking 4th and 5th respectively.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC ADAC Rally - Saturday [Mid-day Results]

After an action packed opening on Friday, the Day 2 progressed through the mid-day after a service before SS9, the longest stage(s) of the rally, which is again repeated late today. Until SS8 the overall results looked almost the same with Sordo getting to the 3rd overall status since Latvala did a mistake on SS8 & hence, lost more time.

The drama unfolded for the top 5, when the second overall Petter Solberg, despite slower than the leader managed knocked off his right rear wheel onto a rock on the side of the road & decided to watch others speed off. Thierry Neuville, the fourth placed Belgian went off & ended his day then and there.. Dani Sordo had a puncture of an worn out tire and had to change in the stage and lost about 2 vital minutes. Mikko climbs to third overall.

And yes, Loeb is still the leader with no problem with the car or whatsoever..

Down in the PWRC, Kosciuszko takes the lead from Guerra at the end of SS9 & Aska is in third overall. In WRC Academy, Evans tops the list while Suarez and Reeves are in second and third.
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Rally Deustchland : Day 1 - Final Report

Loeb dominates the attack with a comfortable 20.4s ahead of the closest rival Solberg, who is chased by his team-mate with just 9s adrift. Mikko still have not found the much needed rhythm and slips down to sixth overall at the end of SS6, Thierry Neuville sticks to his best performance at fourth, while Dani Sordo claims the 5th overall and seems to be happy at the end.

All in all except with the 3 retirements of Novikov, Nobre & Prokop with his ill-struck car charred down to bare metal, all is well..

1.1S. LOEBM1:22:
2.4P. SOLBERGM1:22:38.4+20.4+20.4
3.3J. LATVALAM1:22:47.4+9.0+29.4
4.8T. NEUVILLEM1:22:52.5+5.1+34.5
5.37D. SORDO
6.2M. HIRVONENM1:23:06.9+2.2+48.9
7.5O. TÄNAKM1:23:35.9+29.0+1:17.9
8.10M. ØSTBERGM1:23:46.7+10.8+1:28.7
10.22S. OGIER

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC 2012 ADAC Rally Deustchland : Day 1 - Mid Day Report

After the first three stages done, with S.Loeb dominated the first half of the day. P.Solberg clinched to his second place, however, Mikko slid down to fifth as he was not confident with the car & was not in the right rhythm. Loeb was on hard compound since the first stage and still on the top of the lot, no wonder he is the unbeatable champion for so long. Overnight rain had left the morning stages damp, especially the sections under the trees, which was the main issue to the down order who suffer the wetness & mud drawn from the cars cutting around the corners.

Latvala took the third spot, and he too was not very happy with the setup of his car and was blaming himself to had it setup too soft. T.Neuville had been working well since the start of the season, and he stands at the fourth overall so far and is pretty happy with his driving as well as his car as he says that the driving is getting better by the stages since morning. D.Sordo was not very happy with his driving and the car setup and was down 

E.Novikov retired on the first stage with some issues to his car's right rear wheel, as they were spotted inspecting it after pulling off the stage. P.Nobre too had his off and damaged his car after clipping on to concrete structure, and both of them would be starting tomorrow under Super Rally format. Mads had his share of issues from the very first stage till the mid-day service, as his car suffered braking issues. He even tried to bleed the lines, but was not helpful and also doesn't rule out his lack of experience on these kind of stages. Martin Prokop too faced braking issues in second stage onwards and had to adapt his driving style to the car handling due to it. However, he stopped on third stage maybe a puncture has held them up [*update : Martin's car caught fire on SS3 & he had to retire]. Ott Tanak finished the stage passing the ailing Martin's car & were flagged OK by the crew.

The Olympic medal winner Nasser is happy with his driving and the car & wants to keep it going the same way till the end and hopes for betterment of his standings. Chris Atkinson in his Mini WRC says he is pretty comfortable so far, and also he has to adapt to the different car every time in this season, who has driven all the three manufacturer cars.

Overall top 10 timings after SS3 [till mid-day service] is as below:
Diff. pr.
1.Loeb S. - Elena D.
#1 Citroen DS3 WRC
2.Solberg P. - Patterson C.
#4 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
3.Latvala J. - Anttila M.
#3 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
4.Neuville T. - Gilsoul N.
#8 Citroen DS3 WRC
5.Hirvonen M. - Lehtinen J.
#2 Citroen DS3 WRC
Sordo D. - Del Barrio C.
#37 Mini Cooper WRC
Tänak O. - Sikk K.
#5 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
8.Ostberg M. - Andersson J.
#10 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
9.Atkinson C. - Prévot S.
#12 Mini Cooper WRC
van Merksteijn jr. P. - Chevaillier E.
#15 Citroen DS3 WRC

results courtesy

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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An unfortunate Accident at WRC - ADAC Rally Deutschland

Unfortunately, there was an accident involving four spectators who were grievously injured as a result. This happened after Nicolás Fuchs Fernando Mussano's Subaru WRX lost its front wheel after it hit a kerbstone and veered onto the unsuspecting rally fans, where one of them had severe injuries.

All of them were immediately shifted to Trier hospital & the Shakedown was cancelled from there on.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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S.Loeb fastest @ Shakedown : WRC - ADAC Rally

Sebastien Loeb in his DS3 WRC emerges fastest in the shakedown stage with a timing of 2m26.9s, with 2.6 seconds ahead of second placed Petter Solberg Fiesta WRC. Closely followed by the Estonian Ott Tanak who slid down 0.3s behind Petter.

Loeb, however improved on his timing on the third attempt shaving off 1.7s of his initial attempt. Petter & compatriot Mads Ostberg clocked identical timing 2m25.2s, Jari-Matti Latvala did his personal best at the 0.8s down Loeb, and Dani Sordo & Mikko Hirvonen equalled Loeb's first best on the fourth attempt. Russian Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tanak did their best timings 2m27.8s, and Australian Chris Atkinson managed to time a sub 2and1/2 minute mark with 2m28.6s at his best.

Now everybody would be thinking why there were so many runs to get their best timings, and that is because there is no Qualifying round for the sealed surface round and the starting order for tomorrow will be based on the championship ranking at the end of 8th round results.

On the downline order, Van Merksteijn Jr had a small off, but both the crew and car are okay for tomorrow's fight.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC 2012 : ADAC Rally Deutschland [Germany]

The 9th round of FIA WRC season 2012 is scheduled for this weekend, & already we can see many changes on the competition. The changes are largely visible in the Mini WRC stable. Armindo Araujo had to move out of much trouble to continue with the privateer seat of the top level Rally competition at world level. Dani Sordo is still at the no.1 spot for Mini WRC Team and their other car been driven by the well experienced Australian, Chris Atkinson which is going to be a really good for the Mini WRC assault for the rest the season.

Citroen's Qatar WRC team did their testing too, with Nasser returning after his successful and medal winning Olympics in London 2012 during the NORF days.

So does his team-mate the Belgian, Thierry Neuville..

Ford WRC team's now no.1 driver Petter tests his Fiesta for a better asphalt setup for the upcoming rally on a couple of day from now.

With all these testing and latest changes happening in this season 2012, Citroen WRT main attack would be the one to watch out. Latvala's pace from the last season on the sealed surface was pretty promising, but!! what he and his team needs is consistency and not plain attack. Hope the first proper the hard surface rally makes it a fun to watch in the homeland of the VW's who would be soon back on the rage with their super-anticipated Polo R WRC with the 'other' Seb behind the wheel. Also it is almost confirmed that behind their second wheel would be Ford's Latvala & that leaves us wondering what would be the filler in the Ford WRC team. Hope there will be more competition than ever!!

Here is the video of the recce of the SSS

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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Latvala in Lahti Historic Rally [2012] in his Ford Escort RS BDA

Jari-Matti Latvala participates in his homeland rally, the Lahti Historic Rally, which is a part of the European Historic Sporting Rally Championship.

His experiences are shared in the below videos.

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Volkswagen Polo @ Global RallyCross in 2013

Volkswagen Motorsports has announced that they would be very much interested in getting in the competition at Global RallyCross & X-Games in the coming year. In this debut season 2012 of GRC, with the existing fleet of car manufacturers like, Ford, Saab, Subaru, Dodge, and Hyundai with 600+ bhp engines under the hood.

This happened after its marketing head Stefan Moser happened to attend the GRC this year & looked  very impressed with both the urban youth's reach & interests with a contrasting comparision to the WRC or rallying as a whole.

Stefan said, "What Jost saw at the X Games was nearly the perfect sport. It had everything we need, including young spectators in an urban area. It [Global Rallycross] is easy to cover and easy to understand, unlike WRC or simply Rally, as it is still an mystery motorsport with most of the general public."

And with Citroen trying out one of the invitational event and winning it, VW has definitely got interests in venturing out into the bigger exposure to the cars than the event itself, which is really definitely going to help him appeal to the audience & sell more of his cars.

Actually, he is right! The timed stage format Rally / WRC is not for anybody across the street who can understand it just like that. It is not a car-to-car racing event & people hardly find time to find out how it works, unlike RallyCross, which is simple in lay man's terms - the first car through the finish line wins! With all this full drama unfolds within a few minutes/hours & the fans get to see every piece of action unlike in a rally where the cars just zooms past them. This definitely not going to damage the WRC as a whole, but surely going to hit with the turn out & fans count. Also hope this modern era's GroupB monsters don't take out other flavours of motorsports from its fans.

Hope FIA & WRC community make some neat arrangements unlike, what has been happening from a few months now. Hope the WRC, GRC,.. & have their own merits to survive all alike.
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Nitro Circus in 3D : Premiere's August 8th, 2012

Broken bones, twisted ankles, plated collar bones, crushed ribs... is that enough or do you guys need more!!!

Because, its the wacky & crazy man on the showdown again.
  None other than the mad man Travis Pastrana!
I don't know who is the cracked head who came up with this wonderful idea of making such a series of movies, but its AWESOME!! We had seen this amazing humanoid... yes, I too think he is! Otherwise who would like to break their bones over and over and over... damn!! Ok, coming to the little history of him, he jumped his MX/SX bikes like nobody ever before, took on jumping, racing & crashing cars.. now a school bus?! Oh my!! Don't know what you guys think about him or this series, please do leave a reply!

Below is his latest [am sure 'blockbuster'], and its going 3D this time! Fortunately/unfortunately its only releasing in American soil..

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London Olympics 2012 : Saina Nehwal Wins Bronze Medal [Badminton - Women Singles]

Another Olympic medal makes India rich by 3 medals so far, with two bronze medals and one silver medal.

Saina Nehwal from India manages to bag bronze at the London Olympics 2012, after she reached for the finals on Saturday in Badminton Women Singles.

Saina won her bronze when Wang Xin of China struggled due to her injury in the previous round, and lost it to the Indian.

Below is the video of the medal winning match.

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Sebastien Loeb Wins : Rally Finland [2012] WRC

The Final day of Rally Finland was the biggest show buster! By the end of SS16 and for the final service, it was almost sure about who the winner was! Sebastien Loeb strikes again!

Loeb's winning streak never becomes loose... ever! It was a fantastic start till the end domination by the french man with his hands on Citroen's ride. I wonder whether he can do it without Citroen, and the answer is almost yes. Given his hands on with the F1 test stint once and in the LeMans which he also won, proves it.

Rally Finland was as exciting as ever before, and will be forever too! By the grace of God, it will.. The final two stages being 33.01kms of Ouninpohja been run twice albiet the regrouping for the second run, was the most celebrated stage of the rally and even in the Championship too. It is basically a very fast flowing stretch of road which feels like it is never going to end, but ends faster than anyone imagine.. just over 15minutes, that over a whopping 120km/h on an approx average. Petter Solberg still has his world record here from his Subaru days, way back in 2004, with an average of 130km/h.

Mikko Hirvonen takes the second spot and Jari-Matti Latvala takes the final podium position. Petter Solberg finished 4th, which is nearly the same leaderboard since day 1. Mads Ostberg however lost his 5th place to Estonian Ott Tanak after his car experienced trouble on SS 16, however that was very brief and he regained his 5th position by the end of the rally.

On the S2000 category, Swedish P.G.Andersson of Proton Motorsports in his Proton Satria S2000, takes the top honors as Craig Breens crashed out on the first run of the Ouninpohja SS17. Yazeed Al-Rajhi from Saudi Arabia takes the second with his Ford Fiesta S2000, while Juha Salo driving Factory Proton Satria S2000 gets on the final podium position.

In WRC Academy Elfyn Evans won the Rally Finland, while P. Tidemand takes second & Brenden Reeves on the third position.

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